Home RedHerring Returns: New Website, Videos, Social Network

RedHerring Returns: New Website, Videos, Social Network

RedHerring magazine relaunched its website yesterday on top of the Blogtronix social networking platform. According to Blogtronix this is version 2.0, but given the magazine’s checkered past it might be better to consider this version four or five.

RedHerring launched in 1993 and during the dot-com boom of the late 90s became the quintessential Silicon Valley news rag. But as the Internet sector cooled off, so did the magazine, which stopped producing issues in 2003. It relaunched as an online publication later that year, and came back to the print world in late 2004, but earlier this year it looked like things at RedHerring were taking a familiar turn for the worse.

Gossip blog Valleywag has been reportingallsummer on the impending doom of the magazine, keeping them on “deathwatch.” But yesterday RedHerring launched a spiffy new web site, a new blog, and web video channel.

RedHerring says the new site is “simpler and easier to navigate,” and they’re right. The site utilizes more screen real estate giving it more room for editorial content, and a more popular (for magazine sites) top navigation scheme replaces the old left-side nav, which was never very intuitive.

Content on the new site is more visual, with thumbnail picturs by every article link. Along with the news site, RedHerring has begun updating its blog for the first time since April.

But the most striking change to the RedHerring site is the addition of social features. By utilizing the Blogtronix platform, RedHerring is attempting to become a social network. Though not fully baked yet, the social networking features on RH look like they’ll include personal blogs, an online resume, a rudimentary on site feed reader, and private messaging. Right now, it looks like only some of those features are available.

Whether or not social networking will save RedHerring remains to be seen, but RH has a strong brand that is fondly remembered by tech fans from the 1990s. If they play their cards right and properly push the social features, their exists an outside chance that the magazine could develop a popular business social networking destination.

Along with the new magazine site and blog, RH also launched RedHerring.tv, their new online video play. According to the site, its mission is to “document high-tech startups, their leaders, and financial backers” via its current lineup for three shows: RH100 (interviews with winners of the RedHerring 100 list of hot tech companies), 1on1 (interviews with venture capitalists), and Up Start (interviews with start up entrepreneurs).

The videos are pretty straightforward Charlie Rose-style interviews shot in a small studio. They’re a little dry, but the guests — especially for the RH100 show — make them compelling enough that I watched four of them over the past half hour and plan to watch a few more when I have some time later today. They’re generally under 5 minutes long, which makes them very easy to consume. RedHerring should, however, consider making these movies embeddable, so people can spread the content across the web.

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